More than 600 birds from all over the world are exhibited in their natural habitats at the country's only bird facility independent of a larger zoo. Residents include flamingos, penguins, macaws, hummingbirds, and owls. Bring your lunch – bags and coolers are welcome at the tent and atrium areas. And don't forget to visit the gift shop before you leave!
This vertical track premiered in 1870 and created easier access to Mt. Washington, not to mention offering terrific sightseeing opportunities. The historic structure still delivers folks up and down the mountain, even serving as a means of commuting for some residents. The restored cars provide panoramic views of the city and travel at approximately 6mph.
At Pittsburgh's own microbrewery, you can stop in for Growler Hours and pick up a half-gallon of delicious fresh brewed beer to go. Choose from varieties like the East End Witte and Black Strap Stout, or try a seasonal like Pedal Pale Ale (spring) or The Ugly American (fall). Can't make it to the brewery? Don't fret – you can also find East End beers on tap at several local bars.
The University of Pittsburgh maintains the city's first observatory, built in 1902. The facility now has three telescopes and is home to the Allegheny Telescope Association. Call Mon-Fri between 1-5pm to arrange a free tour.
Rambling over 70 acres, the natural habitats of some 6000 animals are represented in the Asian Forest, African Savanna, Cheetah Valley, and Tropical Forest. The zoo is also home to the PPG Aquarium, which boasts over 40 exhibits that include sharks, penguins, jellyfish, stingrays and an electric eel. At Kid's Kingdom, young visitors may pet many of the critters, from white-tailed deer to kangaroo, and explore the awesome animal-themed playground.
Hikers, bikers, walkers, and dog owners step out of city life and into nature when they enter 600-acre Frick Park. Playgrounds and tennis courts provide distraction, but the park is best-known for its many trails, which wander up and down the varied terrain. Frick also offers many areas for canines, including a leash-free park and a doggy dam where four-legged companions love to splash around.
Since 1898, Kennywood Park has entertained visitors. It was first a trolley park, but by 1911, the park had built one of the first roller coasters (the Jack Rabbit, a wooden coaster whose last car "jumps" the track). Throughout the years, the park has added and subtracted rides to meet customer demand, and in 1987, it earned National Landmark designation. Today, patrons ride water rides and enjoy Phantom's Revenge, a steel coaster that reaches speeds of at least 80 mph and plunges riders down a 225-foot hill.
Located where part of US Steel Homestead Works once churned out steel is Sandcastle Waterpark. It features a boardwalk with food booths like those found at the shore, several pools, a wave pool, hot tubs, and miles of waterslides – some require inner tubes while others are "geared" more for speed. Feeling waterlogged? Head over to the Formula One Raceway (the park's go-cart track), and take on all-comers in rubber-burning action!
These cars were originally built in the late 1800s. Restored, they provide panoramic views of the city. The Duquesne has a lower station on West Carson Street near Station Square and Smithfield Street Bridge, and an upper station at 1220 Grandview Avenue. The Duquesne Incline accepts all Port Authority Transit passes, tickets, and current transfers (including free "CT" continuation transfers) as payment for a one-way Incline ride. The upper station includes an observation deck, a small museum gallery, and a gift shop.
The observation tower and lookout points offer great views of Point Park, the three rivers and the surrounding communities. You can also ride the restored incline cars for a small fee.